The Roar
The Roar


Reds teenager sinks Newcastle as Adelaide snap four-game skid to keep slim finals hopes alive

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15th March, 2024

A lone Luka Jovanovic strike 10 minutes from fulltime saw Adelaide United end their lengthy winless run at the expense of Newcastle and keep their wafer-thin finals hopes alive.

Victory at Newcastle’s McDonald Jones Stadium ended a seven-match streak that had yielded just a single point for Adelaide.

The two sides went into the A-League Men contest in freefall, sharing a cumulative 14-match winless run between them.

There was no shortage of opportunities, but a combination of poor finishing and near-misses saw the scoreboard remain unchanged until Jovanovic’s intervention.

Adelaide, donning black armbands in memory of former Adelaide City and Socceroos striker Steve Maxwell, dominated the opening 20 minutes, and teenage prodigy Nestory Irankunda fired a fierce shot against the near post after a swift counter-attack.

The Jets weren’t without their openings in attack, invariably through the promptings of Lucas Mauragis, and the side’s leading scorer Apostolos Stamatelopoulos saw his close-range header somehow blocked by United’s James Delianov. 


The visitors thought they had gone ahead in the final minutes of the first half, but midfielder Stefan Mauk’s close-range finish was ruled out by VAR for offside by the thinnest of margins. 

Almost immediately Jets’ goalkeeper Ryan Scott stretched out a hand to make a superb save – one of several fine stops – and deny Giuseppe Bovalina’s header.

There was no shortage of desperation from either team, with eight yellow cards issued in an at-times feisty encounter.

Irankunda was denied by Scott, and Zac Clough’s follow-up effort should have found the back of the net.

Jovanovic produced the match-winning moment out of very little by finding a yard of space in a packed penalty area before firing home a late winner.


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The result sees Adelaide leapfrog their opponents into ninth, but they are still seven points adrift of sixth place.